When I read the obituaries this morning, the first thing that caught my eye was that a man was the same age as me. Then, I recognized the name. Steve and I had gone to high school together, and had been in drama club together. We were school friends. You know how that is — you get along great, and have a great time when you see each other in school, but don’t have the same interests outside of school. So, I don’t remember seeing Steve after we graduated, except for one time.
About five years after graduation, I heard that Steve had been in a terrible, near-fatal car accident that left him brain-damaged. He had graduated from college and was teaching at the time, but even though he did survive, he would never be able to teach or even live alone again.
Then, many years later, Hubby and I saw him and his parents across a crowded restaurant. It was evident that the Steve I had known in high school was no longer there.
This morning’s obituary said that Steve died in a nursing home, which is, I’m sure, where he had to go once his parents were gone. I’m sorry I didn’t know he was there, because I might have visited him. And, if he had happened to remember me, I could have visited him occasionally. But, that wasn’t meant to be, so I’ve decided to just do a post about the fun, witty and gentle guy I remember from high school.
In memory of my friend, Steve.
The numbers I’ve written next to Steve’s picture are the pages on which he wrote in my yearbook — 13 to be exact.
It still makes me smile to remember that Steve was the friend who wrote along the edge of 13 pages of my senior yearbook because he swore there wasn’t another spot in the whole book where he could write. Of course that wasn’t true, Steve just enjoyed doing something that no one else had thought of! Original and funny, that was Steve.
Here are some snippets from his edge-of-the-pages epistle:
“I’m sure you’ll go far (You can’t afford to linger too long in 1 place). Seriously, though you’re
really insane (She had a NERVE signing there) and you create good . . .”
(My government teacher, Miss Bower, had had the “nerve” to sign in the margin beside her picture, and “in the way” of Steve’s epistle!)
. . . co- “directors of ‘Bachelor of The Year’ — I know I’ll never forget all the laughs & good times Sandi . . .”
“. . . great luck & all you wish is my wish to you!! Your Friend, Steve ’64”
Steve and I were members of Masque and Gavel, the drama club, and when we were seniors, we were given some responsibility. Pairs of seniors were given one-act plays to direct. Believe it or not, clubs and organizations around the area would ask our drama department for a one-act play to be their entertainment for an event. I like to think it was because we had a reputation for putting on quality theatrical productions — but it’s more likely that they had heard we were very entertaining because we tended not to know what we were doing!
Anyway, in our senior year, Steve and I were teamed up and given a play named Bachelor of The Year to direct. We had alot of fun getting the play ready (script memorized, a few props, a little make-up, etc. ) and then taking our little one-act play “on the road” about a half dozen times.
The performances were especially scarey/exciting for us, the directors, because we were also, by default, the understudies for everyone! So, if an actor didn’t show up, Steve and/or I would have to fill in! I remember there was a dead person at one point in the play, and the character I was portraying (because of a no-show actress) was supposed to say some lines while leaning over the body. Well, I forgot the line, so the “dead person” whispered the line to me in a stage whisper. And then we both had to work very hard to stay in character and continue, while the audience, Steve and the other actors backstage laughed out loud! Luckily, part of the charm of these little plays was that we pretty much flew by the seat of our pants, and our goofs were sometimes more entertaining than the actual play!
I have many fond memories of high school, but some of the most fun ones included this tall, gentle, funny guy.
I feel honored to have known you, Steve. Rest in peace, my old friend.